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«by Egbert M. Ennulat The Scarecrow P ress, Inc. M etuchen, N.J., & London Frontispiece: Arnold Schoenberg in one of his Berlin homes. Copy­ right ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --



a collection of translated and

annotated letters exch anged with






Egbert M. Ennulat

The Scarecrow P ress, Inc.

M etuchen, N.J., & London

Frontispiece: Arnold Schoenberg in one of his Berlin homes. Copy­ right © A1exander Bengsch, Berlin.

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication data available Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 5chqenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951.

[Correspondence. English. Selections] Arnold Schoenberg correspondence : a collection of translated and annotated letters exchanged with Guido Adler, Pablo Casals, Emanuel Feuermann,and 01 in Downes / compiled and annotated by Egbert M. Ennulat.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-8108-2452-3 (alk. paper)

1. Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951— Correspondence. Z. Composers

--Correspondence. I. Ennulat, Egbert M. II. Title.

ML410.S283A4 1991 780'.92— dc20 fBj 91-18955 Copyright © 1991 by Egbert M. Ennulat Manufactured in the United States of America Printed on acid-free paper For Margund and Daniela Ennulat, Christine and David Wilson, my granddaughter Anna Ennulat Wilson, and to the memory of my mother, Martha Ennulat, and C. Stewart Lare


vii Table of Facsimiles Acknowledgements ix xi Preface by Richard Hoffmann xiii Introduction Hommage a Schoenberg, by 1 I Joseph Rufer, translated by Egbert M. Ennulat Arnold Schoenberg - Guido Adler 51 II III Pablo Casals - Guido Adler IV Arnold Schoenberg - Pablo Casals Arnold Schoenberg - Emanuel Feuermann 187 V VI Arnold Schoenberg - Olin Downes VII Schoenberg’s Basso-Continuo Realizations Index of Letters Bibliography


Facsimile I: Schoenberg Sketch Concerning the 103 Placement of Cadenzas in Monn’s Violoncello Concerto in G Minor.

Facsimile II: Adler to Casals. 150 Draft dated June 15, 1934 Facsimile III: Casals to Schoenberg. 182 Dated July 25, 1944 Facsimile IV: The Opening Measures of Schoenberg’s 190 Cello Concerto, based on J.S. Bach’s Sonata for Viola da Gamba in G Major, [BWV 1027]

–  –  –

A great many people have contributed to this book. My special thanks go to Lawrence Schoenberg for the privilege of publishing this collection of his father’s letters and documents, and to Marta Casals Istomin for her gracious permission to publish Pablo Casals’s unknown letters to Schoenberg and her transcriptions and translations from French into English.

Had it not been for the encouragement and patient help of my friend the late Dr. Almonte Howell, this book would probably never have been written. After Professor Howell’s untimely death, David Schiller took on the task of helping me edit the manuscript.

I am also greatly indebted to Dr. Diana L. Ransom, who provided a meticulous reading of the French portions of Chapters III and IV.

Further thanks are due to Dr. Edward R. Reilly, Elisabeth Gareis, Robin Hensley, and Dell Hitchcock for reading portions of the manuscript.

The research for a project of this magnitude could not have been accomplished without significant support from various sources.

Among the more important are an award from the German Exchange Service for an extended period of research at the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin; a grant from the University of Georgia Research Foundation that enabled me to do research at the Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna; and generous research grants from the School of Music at the University of Georgia, made possible by the support of its director, Dr. Ralph Verrastro.

The staff at the Library of Congress and likewise at the Arnold Schoenberg Institute in Los Angeles met all requests most expeditiously, and Tom Camden, the director of the Hargrett Rarebook Library at the University of Georgia, gave me unlimited access to both the Adler and Downes collections housed at this institution.

Computers and I do not get along very well. For this reason I wish also to express my appreciation to John T. Scoville for his patience, helpfulness and resourcefulness.

The many contributors to this book deserve credit for its merits; shortcomings are solely my responsibility.


Although an exchange of letters, especially the correspon­ dence with professional colleagues exclusively, can paint only a unidimensional picture of the writer, nevertheless, there emerges a panoramic portrait of Schoenberg. He comes alive in this painstak­ ingly translated and annotated collection as no biography-and I dare say, autobiography-could possibly do. Schoenberg’s passion, his integrity which we know from his music and from his teaching, is omnipresent in his written word as well.

The exchange of letters spans the 50 years of the first half of this century. They were written in both the Old and the New world; in his native tongue and in a painfully acquired AmericanEnglish. They mirror, often poignantly, the fate of the eternal outsider who disrupted the status quo and the complacency of the academicians, musicians and critics of his time. The unending misunderstandings and ambiguities that must inevitably lead to a feeling of helplessness and alienation (the hallmark of art in general in the 20th century!) do not appear to exhaust Schoenberg’s spirit.

Quite to the contrary. He vitally defends his viewpoint aggressively and steadfastly to the end: in matters of artistic import, with the intuition and intellectual force of the genius; in the arena of commerce-the "music business"-with the fallibility of the mere mortal.

The correspondence with Olin Downes, from 1948 onwards, awakened vivid memories since, as Schoenberg’s amanuensis, I was responsible for taking dictation and then typing the letters for the master or, more likely, transcribing them from the Webster Wire Recorder, which he wittily called his "Dick-taphone" (my nickname was frequently the object of numerous puns!). Forty years later, I still hear Schoenberg’s voice as he sang-by heart— Mahler 7th the Symphony excerpts which I was asked to copy from the score so that they could be included in the letter of admonishment to Olin Downes. During the summer of 1949 or ’50, after Schoenberg had bequeathed his voluminous correspondence to the Library of Con­ gress, I was entrusted by Harold Spivacke, Chief of the Music Division with the task of ordering and filing the collection. Prior xi to the actual sorting of documents, I constructed large containers (out of corrugated-cardboard boxes, with alphabetized compart­ ments of varying widths) with Schoenberg’s enthusiastic approval.

The next step was to find the thousands of letters from various locations in his two-room, (separated by a narrow passageway) studio. (Many years later, quite by accident, I came across an additional, large wooden crate in the garage which contained hundreds of letters from the late 1920s and early ’30s.) The discussion of how to file the correspondence was the next logical and necessary step. Without hesitation, Schoenberg responded to my suggestion that they be filed alphabetically and chronologically with his customary direct manner: "Yes, but there should be two main categories. Letters from friends and those from enemies." I pleaded that this was impossible for me to do, since I was not aware of who his friends and who his foes were, and would have to consult him personally for every entry. Besides, I pointed out, the case of Thomas Mann (first friend, then enemy and finally, in 1951, once again friend) exceeded the logic of the unique filing scheme which he had spontaneously devised. Schoenberg immediately agreed with me and suggested two other main categories: 1) personal letters and

2) business letters. And this, in alphabetical/chronological order was the way in which the collection was organized and filed for the Library of Congress.

The sheer bulk of the correspondence-a minute portion of the totality appears in this volume-dramatically contradicts, in at least one respect, the widely held belief that Schoenberg identified himself with the tongue-tied Moses in his opera Moses und Aron where, at the conclusion, Moses in despair and total abjection utters: "O Wort, du Wort das mir fehlt [O word, thou word, which escapes me!”] The power of Schoenberg’s verbal communication will be acknowledged by all who read this exchange of letters: be they friend or be they enemy!

–  –  –

Arnold Schoenberg, the founder and leader of the Second Viennese School, is recognized as one of the greatest com­ posers of this century. Music journalism became very much a part of the activities of many Romantic composers; one need only be reminded of the most famous examples, which include Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Berlioz and even E.T.A Hoffmann and various lesser figures. All of these were very literate; they were involved in music criticism, in the publication of professional journals, in the writing of their own libretti, and in the advancement of their personal concepts and views through extensive treatises.

But very few took such a keen interest in every aspect of life as did Arnold Schoenberg. Besides his books on harmony and counter­ point there are several hundred essays on every possible aspect of music. Quite frequently Schoenberg resorted to his own inspiration for texts used in his compositions. The text for his oratorio-opera Moses und Aron is possibly the most significant of these, for this libretto has the epical proportions of the Old Testament. More­ over, there are countless essays on every imaginable extra-musical concern, especially on religious themes, but also on a wide variety of philosophical, aesthetic, political, economic, moral, and practical issues.

The composer was also a very gifted craftsman, and he took great pride in his accomplishments. Not only did he design the figures for a super chess game that he had invented and expanded to about 100 pieces, he even produced them himself in wood. He delighted in many practical aspects of the crafts, ranging from holders for crayons to furniture in his studio. Bookbinding he had mastered to the point of perfection, and he was especially proud of his work here. Painting was very important to the composer, and quite a number of paintings attest to the fact that he was also very gifted in this medium. To a degree, all of this comes through in the monographs on Schoenberg which have appeared so far. But it seems that for a truly comprehensive and all-inclusive biography of such a complex Renaissance man it will be necessary to research and then incorporate the immense holdings of his literary estate in xiii a definitive biography, a task which may be many years in the making.

Joseph Rufer’s article "Hommage & Schoenberg"1 was inspired by the impact of the literary estate, which he was charged to survey during 1957. Rufer’s essay touches on many of the senti­ ments expressed above. In addition, Rufer captured the essence of Schoenberg’s personality as he experienced it early in this century as Schoenberg’s student. When surveying Schoenberg’s papers in the master’s study in Los Angeles, Rufer felt that his mind and soul were transported back to his earlier experiences as Schoenberg’s student in Modling, Austria. There is much new in Rufer’s account and, because of this and his special insights, the essay may well be one of the more important ones of the post-Schoenberg period. It therefore seems fitting to open this book with Rufer’s "Hommage k Schoenberg," which appears here for the first time in a translation from German into English.

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